Re: The Singularity vs. the Wall

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Mon Apr 24 2006 - 07:23:40 MDT

Jeff Medina wrote:
> On 4/23/06, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
>> So Kurzweil has done a disservice to the idea by emphasizing those
>> curves. It just does not make sense to look at a curve and suppose that
>> no new factors will kick in as it heads off to infinity.
> In TSIN, Kurzweil specifically acknowledges and discusses how,
> historically, any particular factor/technology has always hit a
> plateau, and that we should (and he does) quite strongly expect that
> any exponential trends that continue will similarly depend on new
> factors as old & current technologies hit their own plateaus.

I guess it doesn't surprise me that he would address the point (too
obvious for him not to), but what exactly is his claim? That each
individual technology has an upward curve followed by a plateau, but
that the collection of separate curves has its own overall trend that is

Assuming that were his argument, I would contest it on the same grounds:
  I don't believe that unassisted human expertise (technology sans AGI)
is going to be capable of creating dumb-but=fabulous technology without
limit. For example, without AGI I cannot see the MNT approach yielding
a safe and viable form of geoengineering, or infinite life extension,
because these things will turn out to involve so much complexity that
our human engineers will not be able to get their heads around all the
problems. It is this that makes me look at the trend curves (either
individually or en masse) and say that I am skeptical.

Richard Loosemore

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